My dear faithful readers,
Over the past week, many of us have stayed at Anais Herschel’s parents’ farm to help them repair the damage that their roof sustained when two floating giant tan monoliths broke through and took Ms. Herschel away. Many still have braved the journey back to S.A.U.C.E. headquarters, in case she (or more likely those who took her) tried to make contact with us.
The message from her kidnappers, however, came by way of a flea-ridden tomcat who refused to leave the Herschels’ farm until we paid him in sardines. He had with him two printed photographs rolled up and tied to him with a ribbon. One of these photographs featured Ms. Herschel tied to a clay pillar, and one or skywriting. The skywriting reads as follows:
(FOR YOUR SWEARING GIRL’S LIFE, THE GOLD AND FREE HAND. YOU HAVE ‘TIL MIDSUMMER TO MEET MY DEMAND. LACE)
Today is April the 26th. A deadline of the Summer Solstice may allow us time enough to collect gold for ransom, though Lace failed to specify how much gold, and Ms. Hershel appeared in the photograph to be unharmed. The mention of a hand gave us pause for special concern, however. Does Lace need a hand with something? Is Lace demanding someone’s hand in marriage in some twisted way? Is there a priceless treasure in the shape of a hand that we are to find and send to Lace?
Elsie Cabret threw an uncharacteristic fit and threw the rolled-up photographs across the field. Danny Delaire gave out a yelp and collected them before the wind could blow them out of our grasp. Later, she showed me something scratched into the emulsion near the bottom of the page, possibly with a sharp fingernail, pin or juvenile swordfish.
“It’s a message from Anais,” said Ms. Delaire. “A clue. I think it’s a cup.”
Ms. Herschel’s previous clue was the scribbled note of the words “Hidden cards?”
With these two clues in mind, I will continue to publish posts on the topic of cards from the Obscure Arcana, (I began last week with the card Bloody Mary) but now I will also add cards from the Minor Arcana suit of Cups. Let us hope they will enlighten us as to how we should proceed, so that we may bring Anais Herschel home safe and sound.
I remain, gentle readers, your most humble and obedient servant,
(The picture below is clearly not the photograph of Ms. Herschel tied to a clay pillar. I instead give you a portrait of her from a happier time, for the sake of her dignity)